A shipping container by itself is pretty boring, but even a brand new one is pretty cheap.
With a little bit of imagination (and a lot work), some talended architects succeeded to design dwellings made of shipping containers, ranging from off-the-grid guest homes to full time single family homes.
Shipping Container homes have their pros and cons: they are durable and eco-friendly, most of time cheaper to build than conventional constructions, and pre-fab modules can be easily transported by truck.
But they also have to be very well insulated and sealed as the steel conducts heat a lot and easily rusts if the air condenses against it.
You may think that living in a container home doesn’t sound very appealing.
Here are 22 of the best modern shipping container houses built around the world that may lead you to reconsider.
- 1. Containers of Hope, a $40,000 Home by Benjamin Garcia Saxe
- 2. Shipping Container House by Studio H:T
- 3. The Beach Box by Andrew Anderson
- 4. 31 Shipping Container Home by ZieglerBuild
- 5. Caterpillar House by Sebastián Irarrázaval
- 6. First Shipping Container House in Mojave Desert by Ecotech Design
- 7. Eco-Friendly Crossbox House by CG Architectes
- 8. “Home Contained”, a Cozy Modern Home Made of Five Shipping Containers
- 9. Six Oaks Residence by Modulus
- 10. Containerlove by LHVH Architekten
- 11. Container House by Adam Kalkin
- 12. Old Lady House by Adam Kalkin
- 13. Maison Container by Patrick Partouche
- 14. Croydon Lane Residence by Studio Jantzen
- 15. The Sarah House in Salt Lake City
- 16. Shipping Container House in El Tiemblo by James & Mau Arquitectura
- 17. WFH House by Arcgency
- 18. Upcycle House by Lendager Arkitekter
- 19. Shipping Container Guest House by Jim Poteet
- 20. Two-Tree House by Golany Architects
- 21. Nomad Living by Studio Arte architecture & design
- 22. Week End House 2+ by Jure Kotnik Arhitekt
Benjamin Garcia Saxe completed the Containers of Hope project in 2011 with a budget of $40,000.
Located in San Jose, Costa Rica, this container house made of two 40 foot shipping containers is the result of a close collaboration between the architect and his clients, who went on to construct the building themselves.
Colorado-based Studio H:T designed this Shipping Container House in 2010. It is made of two 40 foot Shipping Containers.
The project is planned to be off-the-grid using solar orientation, passive cooling, green roofs, pellet stove heating and photovoltaics to create electricity.
3. The Beach Box by Andrew Anderson
The Beach Box is a shipping container house located in the dunes of Amagansett, New York, USA.
This 2,000 square foot, four bedroom, two and a half bath home was developed by Andrew Anderson with six-modules from New York-based company SG Blocks.
Todd Miller of Zeigler Build recently built this amazing three story container house, using thirty one brand new 40 foot shipping containers!
This spectacular four bedroom, four bathroom, 6,000 square foot home is located 5 miles away from the heart of Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.
Caterpillar House is located in Lo Barnechea, Santiago de Chile, Chile, and was designed by Sebastián Irarrázaval.
The home overlooks a dry landscape, and was designed for an art collector, using twelve 20 foot and 40 foot shipping containers.
Ecotech Design completed the first Shipping Container Home in the Mojave Desert in 2011.
Made with six shipping containers, the 2,300 square foot contemporary house was built for about $200 per square foot, including the foundation.
This project is a prototype of a three-dimensional modular and industrialized house, built with four 40 foot shipping containers.
The aim of this project is to build a low cost architect’s housing with high focus on environmental issues.
Debbie Glassberg is the owner of the Home Contained, a 2,600 square foot modern residence located in Kansas City, Missouri, that was built with five shipping containers.
The final result is quite impressive: the home has comfortable living spaces, a green roof, geothermal heating, plant foam insulation and some passive solar.
Located in the hills of Felton, Santa Cruz, California, USA, this 1,200 square foot shipping container home was designed by Modulus Architecture.
The house was made with three and a half 40 foot partially prefabricated shipping containers.
Designed by LHVH Architekten, Containerlove is a private residence made of three 40 foot shipping containers.
Located in Kall, Eifel, Germany, the structure sets it apart from its rural landscape, though its interior is warm and cozy.
The 12 Container House was designed by architect Adam Kalkin in 2003.
Located in Blue Hill, a small town in Maine, USA, the house was created by stacking twelve recycled 40 foot shipping containers in a T-shape.
12. Old Lady House by Adam Kalkin
The Old Lady House is another modern shipping container house designed by Adam Kalkin.
The two story home located in Califon, New Jersey, USA, was built using nine 40 foot recycled shipping containers.
French architect Patrick Partouche designed the Maison Container in 2010.
Located in the outskirts of Lille, France, this 2,240 square foot, two story house is made of eight 40 foot shipping containers.
14. Croydon Lane Residence by Studio Jantzen
Architect Christof Jantzen, principal of Studio Jantzen purchased five shipping containers and extended an existing rustic 750-square-foot cabin on a 3.5-acre plot of land in Topanga, California, USA.
With builder Eric Engheben of 44 West Construction, Jantzen managed to complete the addition within four weeks.
15. The Sarah House in Salt Lake City
Real estate broker Jeff White dreamed of transforming used shipping containers into affordable housing.
After two years of work, he built a 672-square-foot house, using two 40 foot shipping containers.
The house located in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA, was put on the market in October 2013 with an initial price tag of $135,000, but didn’t sell at the time of writing.
Designed by studio James & Mau Arquitectura, Casa El Tiamblo is made of four 40 foot shipping containers.
This 2,045 square-foot residence is located in Spain and was completed within six months for a total budget of 140,000 €.
Designed by Arcgency, this four bedroom contemporary home was made of three 40 foot shipping containers.
Located in China and completed in 2012, it is a prefab design based on principles such as sustainability, flexibility, and playfulness.
Danish studio Lendager Arkitekter completed the Upcycle House project in 2013.
It was built from two 40 foot used shipping containers and it is located in Nyborg, Denmark.
Located in Texas, USA, this project is made from a standard 40 foot shipping container, stands in the backyard of renovated warehouse where the client lives.
It was designed by the architect Jim Poteet who had never worked with a container himself until the owner approached him about transforming one into a playhouse and a guest house.
Designed by Golany Architects and located in Israel, the Two-Treehouse, which now appears to have grown there, actually began as a recycled shipping container.
It was constructed by applying prefabrication wherever possible, with all the interior finishes, insulation and structure completed off-site.
This weekend retreat by Studio Arte architecture & design is made of a single 40 foot shipping container.
It can also serves as a first home for a young couple, a shed for your guest or a home office/studio.
Instead of using recycled shipping containers for this weekend retreat, Jure Kotnik uses containers specially designed for housing.
This small modern container home is located in Trebnie, Solvenia.
Did you change your mind? Would you live in one of those container houses?
If so, let us know which one is your favorite.